2021 All Area Basketball Team—small school boys

Aiden Newman of Saint Francis Catholic Academy

It was a banner year for the Trenton boys’ basketball team.

The Tigers won the district title for the first time in 21 years thanks to the play of guards Tyler Perry and Xavier Jones. Their standout performances also landed the duo on the Mainstreet Daily News/The Prep Zone small school All Area Boys Basketball Team as first and second team selections, respectively.

Perry and Jones each averaged 14 points per game. Perry added six rebounds, five assists, and three steals per game for the Tigers, who lost in the Class 1A region final to Madison County.

“I’m honored to receive this award,” Perry said. “I want to thank my team and coach. Without them I wouldn’t be the player that I am.”

Saint Francis Catholic Academy (Gainesville) teammates Aiden Newman and Ashton Lovette make up the first team backcourt. They helped lead the Wolves to the Class 2A-District 2 title.

Newman, who scored 30 or more points four times this season, led the team with 19.9 points per game, including a team-high 83 3-pointers. The senior shot a team-best 38 percent from behind the arc.

He also shot 90 percent (89-of-99) from the free throw line.

“Aidan is one of the best pure scorers that I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching,” Selva said. “His ability to score from anywhere on the court is truly a gift. Also, his leadership both on and off the court made my job as a coach easier.”

Lovette was close behind at 19.5 points per game. He just missed a double-double average with 9.2 rebounds per game.

The 6-foot-5 junior, who shot 48 percent from the floor, got to the free throw line 198 times during the 2020-21 season and made 73 percent of his shots from the charity stripe. He finished second on the team with 54 assists and led the team with 29 blocks.

“This past year we relied on Ashton to do a lot of things for us—score, defend, rebound, and handle the ball under pressure,” said Wolves’ outgoing coach Isaac Selva. “If he wasn’t doing those things, we weren’t going to have a good game, and time and time again he stepped up and did whatever he needed to do to give us a chance to be successful.”

The first team front court is made up of forwards Chancellor Wilson of Fort White, Issacc Williams of Williston, and Curran Webb of Union County.

Wilson, who sat out most of last year with a torn ACL, averaged a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds per game for the Indians, who lost to Hilliard in the Class 1A-District 6 quarterfinals.

The 6-foot-6 junior also averaged seven assists and three blocks per game.

Williams averaged 13 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game for the Red Devils, who lost by two to Hawthorne in the 1A-District 7 title game. The senior shot 51 percent from the floor and 68 percent from the foul line.

“Issacc is a young man that dealt with adversity all year but always came to play and was a winner,” noted first-year Williston coach Jim Ervin.

Webb, a junior, averaged 10.4 points and 6.8 rebounds for the Tigers, who lost to Trenton in the Class 1A-District 6 semifinals.

“Curran is very dedicated to whatever sport he is playing,” said Union County coach Jimmy Thomas. “He is a leader on and off the court, and an outstanding student. I’m very excited that he has another year with us.”

Joining Jones in the backcourt on the second team are guards Perrion Sylvester (11 ppg/7.5 rpg) of Newberry and Yarnell McCray (13.4 ppg) of Hawthorne.

The forwards are Jesse Williams (13.8 ppg/10.1 rpg) of Bronson, who had a 34-point game at Oak Hall School and a 17-rebound game against Belleview, and Daniel Pittman of Bell, which finished 17-9.

Honorable mention: Austin Arban (Bell, F/C), Xavier Guyton (Bronson, G), Wyatt McLaughlin (Fort White, G), Richard Smith (Hawthorne, G), Steve Nelson (Newberry, G), Keith McGuire (Williston, G).

Sports Director for Mainstreet Daily News

Mike Ridaught is sports director for Mainstreet Daily News. Mike hosts a weekly high school sports show at Sonic Drive-In and does play-by-play for a Game-of-the Week on 106.9 FM “I am Country.”

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